Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Kristi Paul

Williams leads Higgins in World Snooker final

Williams leads Higgins in World Snooker final

Mark Williams has won the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible, beating John Higgins 18-16 in the final in Sheffield.

The three-times world champion looked forward to returning to the Crucible next year and promised to outdo himself if he defended his title.

"Cold in here isn't it?", Williams quipped as he entered the press room, his modesty protected by just a towel.

Williams arrived naked apart from a sponsors towel sparing his blushes - under orders from supremo Barry Hearn - but soon took it off after sitting down.

At 43, Williams became the oldest victor of the sport's biggest prize since fellow Welshman Roy Reardon won his sixth and final world title in 1978.

The Welshman defeated John Higgins in a nailbiter at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, taking the win 18-16 after the match was level at 15-15 in the final session.

It marked a remarkable reversal of fortune for Williams, whose other triumph came in 2000, as he considered retirement after failing to qualify for last year's tournament.

"But for him to do that, I can only imagine what he went through, coming back every year and going again".

He said: "Last year I wasn't even here (he lost in qualifying). I watched it in a caravan", Williams told BBC Sport.

Another trademark clearance from Higgins, 82 from 47-0 down, got him within two frames.

"It's an unbelievable story, 12 months ago I was thinking of chucking it".

Williams led 10-7 going into today's final two sessions and swiftly extended his advantage by winning four consecutive frames as he demonstrated his potting prowess.

Recall that previous year, Higgins also played in the world Cup final, but in a bitter struggle gave way to a younger Mark Selby.

Back came Williams, and a century break to go one frame away from victory suggested his nerves had settled.

"I don't think she wanted me in the house 24 hours a day". He also was then obliged to fulfill an earlier promise to the media to hold his post-final press conference naked if he won.

"I made a really good break under pressure and my game is now in pretty good shape now".

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